I hesitated before writing this post because I’m sure it’s going to give some of you the impression that I have too much time on my hands. It is true that I no longer have to show up at a workplace at 7:55 every morning, but I find there are always interesting ways to spend one’s time. And while a little weaving was fun, I don’t think I could take a steady diet of it.
I wisely chose to do a project that would be quick. The actually weaving of the strip for the belt was accomplished over the course of an afternoon, interspersed with other tasks. I just could not keep it up for longer than about five minutes or so. Something has definitely been messing with my attention span.
I used a light blue cotton yarn for the warp and a darker blue wool yarn for the weft. I haven’t quite gotten the knack of keeping each row of weft pressed down evenly, but I found that I could adjust the thin spots with my fingers after the weaving was finished.
I already had a nice leather and buckle piece that I’d saved from an old belt where the canvas was in poor shape. I’m always picking up things like that when I run across them at the thrifts. One never knows what will be useful!
My weaving would not be sturdy enough on its own, so I needed to interface and back it with another fabric. I just happened to have a piece of Liberty Tana lawn that was the right size. Another thing I always buy when I see them are Liberty neckties. There is an amazing amount of fabric in a tie, well worth the fifty cents they usually cost in thrifts.
After cutting the interfacing to the right width (a couple of millimeters less than my woven piece) I wrapped the cotton fabric around it and pressed the cotton to fit.
I then stitched the backing to my woven piece. I waxed the thread for a bit of body.
I trimmed the edges and secured the loose ends through all three layers.
There were already stitch holes in the leather where the original canvas was sewn on. I used the very same holes for my stitches. I used silk buttonhole twist, again waxed for strength and body.
When expert leather workers hand stitch, they use two needles and two strands of thread that go through the holes from opposite sides. It makes for a strong stitch, but I did it the easy way, doing every other hole and them going back in the other direction. Here I am half way and ready to reverse my path of stitches.
And here it is all finished. It actually was a very quick project, with maybe two hours total in the making.
And here’s a photo showing how it looks when worn.
This may be my one and only weaving project, but I’m glad I did this one. I like the belt, and I have a new appreciation for all the work that women used to have to put into the production of garments.